In old photographs they stroll
in Sunday finery on lazy afternoons
before the Wars, like ghosts
in their Victorian summer whites
on dirt paths that curve between
boathouse and mineral spring.
Sometimes they float in wooden canoes
on Lake Ottosee or gather
in front of the cupolaed stone
to hear violin and German bassoon.
That time-shrunken structure
is the only trace of your old allure,
the lake’s algaed depths stirred now
only by ducks and migrating geese,
as placid and timeless as the first leaves
of autumn drifting like silent notes
across the bandstand’s marble floor—
a people, a place, a world no more.
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